WTA : Auckland, Brisbane, Shenzhen - How's your WTA bracket?
Very frustratingly, due to circumstances beyond my control (Satellite dish wiped out by Snowstorm Helena) I have not been able to watch any tennis. But I really like the happenings in the WTA so far this week!
Aga Radwanska vs Alison Riske
Anything of course can happen but Riske has yet to get a win over Aga. Aga is my pick.
(Simona Halep — knocked out of Shenzhen by Katerina Siniakova! ..)
Camila Giorgi vs Qiang Wang
Q. Wang is on my… ones to watch in 2017 list. Very happy about Camila getting a couple wins tho. This is a toss-up. Maybe I’d pick Qiang because it’s Shenzhen. Should be a good match and I’m hoping 2017 will be better for Giorgi than 2016.
Johanna Konta vs Kristyna Pliskova
The Other Pliskova is ranked inside the top 100 and has a big game not unlike her famous sisters’ but my pick is Konta to the SF.
#52 Katerina Siniakova vs Nina Stojanovic
And who is Stojanovic? She’s a 20 year old qualifier from Serbia. Maybe she’ll beat 20 year old budding Czech star Siniakova? This Stojanovic will make my ones to watch list if she wins maybe but until then – I’ll stay with Katerina Siniakova,
No big early round surprises in the Brisbane draw.
1. Angelique Kerber vs Elina Svitolina
Hoping Angie shook off the rust in her last match – a three set affair over Ashleigh Barty, because as predicted, she meets Elina Svitolina. Elina dusted Monica Puig in her first round match but then needed three sets to take out Shelby Rogers. Remaining with my tournament pick, Kerber – but this should be close.
Karolina Pliskova vs Roberta Vinci
It’s nice to see Vinci get a couple wins to start the new season. I was kind of writing her off but now I have a little hope for the talented Italian champ. There’s hope in 2017 for Roberta, but I’ll be surprised if she beats Karolina Pliskova. WTA #6 is hot, continues racking up aces, and maybe the only one hotter right now is Caroline Wozniacki (but she’s in Auckland). Karolina Pliskova over Roberta Vinci.
Garbine Muguruza vs Svetlana Kuznetsova
Garbine, is lucky to be in the quarterfinal, from what I’ve read about her match vs Daria Kasatkina. Meanwhile, Svetlana has had no such struggles. Garbine is my bracket pick but Svetlana cruised past Louisa Chirico and rising Australian star, 16 year old, Destanee Aiava. Svetlana Kuznetsova is my revised pick.
Dominika Cibulkova vs Alize Cornet
Dominika the indomitable over tricky Alize. Alize will put up a fight but fighting through three sets is Cibby’s specialty.
Auckland Quarterfinals … Auckland, where Serena lost to Madison Brengle and Venus withdrew with a sore arm.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Madison Brengle
Barbora Strycova vs Lauren Davis
Caroline Wozniacki vs Julia Goerges
…and possibly my favorite QF is Ana Konjuh vs Naomi Osaka. Although, I like it that Ostapenko might be back to winning ways too.
Perhaps the only thing I'll get right about the Auckland draw will be Caroline Wozniacki making the final. But that's it -- I’m not predicting anything more about Auckland. I just wish I could watch!!
Yes, heard it was a good match. And yet I wonder if Cibulkova didn't go all in. Wondering the same about Kuznetsova losing rather tamely to Muguruza, or was it? But neither of those were as suspicious a score as Alison Riske beating Aga 6-0, in the third set. I hope Aga wasn't injured -- rather, I hope Aga will be on course for good run at AO. Congrats to Alison getting the win over Aga.
And I have the same questions above about Caroline Wozniacki losing to Julia Goerges. I was so sure about Woz!
Anyone out there see the matches?
Brisbane was the big 470 point tournament pre-AO. I'm a little disappointed that Angelique Kerber lost - even if it was to the dangerous Elina Svitolina.
.... to the Semifinals: Auckland, Brisbane, and Shenzen
#41 Jelena Ostapenko vs #61 Lauren Davis
I'm leaning toward the taller, higher ranked Ostapenko. She had a disappointing last half of 2016 and I've been cheering for her to get the form and momentum back that she showed in 2015 and early 2016.
Not to underestimate 5'2", Davis; this match can go either way. Lauren is a terrific fighter and got impressive wins over Kiki Bertens and Kurumi Nara in the first two rounds. Then she got a bit lucky with the win over a tired Barbora Strycova in the QF. Odds are close for Jelena Ostapenko vs Lauren Davis.
(Perhaps, the match of the week was Strycova over Safarova - ... from what I've heard)
#53 Julia Goerges vs #47 Ana Konjuh
It's nice to see Julia Goerges winning in singles again and moving in the right direction. She's coming off a big three set win over Caroline Wozniacki. Will she be tired or fired up? Her opponent, Ana Konjuh is one to watch in 2017 - young player, big game and she'll be rested after winning by the retirement of Naomi Osaka last match. But she's had to work this week with wins over both Kirsten Flipkens and Yanina Wickmayer . It's tempting to pick Ana but I'm going with experience over youth - Julia Goerges.
#39 Alison Riske vs #81 Camila Giorgi
The ranking doesn't really matter here -- Camila should be ranked about the same as Alison but Camila had a terrible 2016 - unsure about physical injuries last year but I know there were personal distractions enough to throw her off her game. Very happy both of them have made the Semifinal here. The favorite is Alison Riske but Camila Giorgi can pull an upset if she's on!
#10 Johanna Konta vs #52 Katerina Siniakova
Should be a straight set win for Konta. I don't know how drained, if at all, Konta will be after her battle yesterday with the Other Pliskova (Kristyna). 20 year old Czech, Katerina Siniakova will make the one to watch in 2017 list if she beats the odds and wins the final!
Brisbane for 470 points
#7 Garbine Muguruza vs #41 Alize Cornet
My bracket pick to the final has come this far - and I'm feeling proud of Garbine. Does she have the will to go the distance with the wily, veteran, Alize Cornet and keep going to win Brisbane? She could do it but it will require also beating the winner of Karolina Pliskova vs Elina Svitolina. That's a big request! But I might have found a way to watch the matches, thanks to tips from a draw challenge bracket mate, kpuppy737 🙂
BeIn Sports is looking like an option - if you are in the USA and looking for a way to watch WTA.
#6 Karolina Pliskova vs #14 Elina Svitolina
Karolina is a slight favorite (odds) and also has a 4-0 h2h over Elina. But they have not met since 2015. It's hard to predict - and both appear healthy and have momentum at the moment.
Well, Shenzen, Auckland and Brisbane did not go as expected but not much ever does anymore in WTA and that's one of the many things I love about it 😀
#6 Karolina Pliskova vs #41 Alize Cornet
Alize Cornet has had a great week. She started by beating #7 seed, Elena Vesnina, then Christina McHale, and next took out #2 seed Dominika Cibulkova and sadly, Garbine Muguruza took the court but had trouble moving, (apparently - a right thigh injury), and retired.
Karolina Pliskova is the favorite and is coming off an unexpectedly easy win over a tired Elina Svitolina. Karolina had been cruising through her draw, her serve clicking, until Roberta Vinci's slicing backhand and bag of tricks caused her to lose a set. But that's it - one set dropped. Against Svitolina yesterday her first serve was back to 96%.
Cornet has a 1-0 h2h vs Pliskova; but that was back in 2013. I hesitate to pick against Alize though! I've underestimated her all week.
#47 Ana Konjuh vs #61 Lauren Davis
I was able to watch some of the Davis vs Ostapenko semifinal live on Bein Sports before the wind knocked out my satellite dish again. Lauren is reportedly fighting a right leg injury and has heavy taping on it but she was moving well enough to outplay an ailing, (possibly with a flu) Ostapenko, who tried hard in the first set but retired early in the third set.
Did not get to watch Konjuh's win over Goerges but it went the distance. The odds favor Konjuh over Davis but not by much. Probably Konjuh - but I can't count out feisty Lauren Davis.
#39 Alison Riske vs #52 Katerina Siniakova
Alison is the one who knocked out #1 seed and defending champ, Aga Radwanska. Riske also got straight set wins over Pironkova and Giorgi. Alison was runner-up in Shenzhen in 2016. She lost last year to Aga Radwanska in the final.
The 20 year old, Katerina, is the one who booted out #2 seed and 2015 champ, Simona Halep, in the second round. She's also coming off a three set surprising win over Johanna Konta in the semifinal. She has one win over Riske last fall in Tokyo.
It feels like Alison Riske will get the win this time.
2. Winner in Shenzhen Katerina Siniakova - her first WTA title. (She already has two WTA doubles titles)
1. Auckland winner : Lauren Davis
Brisbane winner: Karolina Pliskova
With the win, Karolina moves up to a career high ranking of #5.
It was a dominate performance from the Czech star, dropping only one set (to Roberta Vinci) along the way.
Congrats to Karolina Pliskova on her seventh WTA Singles title --
And best of luck at the Australian Open!